2 Isolationism and Neutrality BASIC DEFINITIONSIsolationism – Neutral with no tradeNation’s foreign policy calls for neither economic nor political ties with other countriesNeutrality – Neutral with tradeNation’s foreign policy calls for not taking sides in any international argument, controversy, dispute, or warInternational trade is okay, so long as it does not involve picking sides in a disputeNotes for the teacher: The idea here is to distinguish between the two concepts. Question to ask students: Has the United States ever been a truly isolationist country?
3 Historical Antecedents George WashingtonProclamation of Neutrality, 1793No U.S. involvement or aid in the French RevolutionFarewell Address, 1796U.S. should avoid “entangling alliances”James MonroeMonroe Doctrine, 1823U.S. would leave Europe alone, and Europe should leave the Western Hemisphere aloneNotes for the teacher: This is a quick review of early American foreign policy.
4 World War I United States entered the war reluctantly United States did not enter the war until 1917Many Americans regretted entering the warDalton Trumbo’s Johnny Got His GunAnti-war novel about a WWI soldier who lost his limbs and face, and could communicate only through Morse code by moving his headPublished in 1939 – popular and praised by criticsUnited States did not join the League of NationsNotes for teacher: Trumbo’s book is mentioned here because it was warmly received by a pacifist public in 1939, only to later be pulled from printing (at the author’s request) once Hitler invaded the Soviet Union. A look at Trumbo’s life and writing career might make for an interesting discussion about how an individual’s life changes according to the political climate.
5 U.S. Foreign Policy during the Great Depression of the 1930s 19341935, 1936, 19371937Federal investigation led by Senator Gerald NyeSenate forbade U.S. membership in the World Court (1935)Japanese invaded ChinaFDR’s quarantine speech – aggressor nations were the world’s diseaseQuestion: Why did the U.S. enter World War I?Neutrality Acts (1935, 1936, 1937) permitted only “cash and carry” sales, with no loans or weapons sales, to nations at warAnswer: Armament manufacturers and financiers wanted to earn profits.Conclusion: The U.S. should avoid foreign wars.
6 Review QuestionsWhat is the difference between isolationism and neutrality?How did George Washington and James Monroe shape early United States foreign policy?How did Americans of the 1930s feel about World War I?How did the United States act to remain neutral during the 1930s?